Earl Thomas To Cowboys Story

8-8 on the field, undefeated in drama.

Jim Rome
August 25, 2020 - 10:00 am
 Earl Thomas

USA Today

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I got into this yesterday and yet I still don’t have a good answer for what the hell happened to Earl Thomas? The image I had of him was that he was a rock and a true pro. Someone you could not only build a secondary around, but a whole defense and an entire team around. A lead from the front type dude that could set the tone for an entire locker room. 

And when things ended the way they did in Seattle, it felt like it was just a one-off. It was a dispute about money that went sour. But then you had the insane Incident with his gun toting wife and bed sharing brother back in the spring and that got me shaking my damn head. 

And then you have everything that went down in Baltimore the last few days and the fact that they were desperate to get rid of him, and in particular, that his teammates didn’t want him around. I mean, really, really didn’t want him around. We can all relate to it.  ever work with, or been around someone you hated so much, that the second they got fired, not only your job, but your mindset, hell life, improved? That’s the Ravens. That’s how toxic Earl Thomas was to them. That’s how badly his teammates wanted him out of that building. Reportedly.  

So….That’s got me thinking – is this who he’s been the whole time or did something change?

And of course, the moment the Ravens announced that they were done with him, the rumors linking him to Dallas started. And that’s not new.  He practically begged them to get him out of Seattle a few years ago.  And jerry jones certainly has been infatuated with him. And Earl is a Texas guy. 

But as time passed, there were reports that Dallas wasn’t interested in him. That is not a great sign for Earl. It’s one thing to have ugly endings with two of the most respected organizations in the league, but when the Dallas Cowboys don’t want you, that’s trouble. Serious, serious trouble. Because they’ll take much anyone regardless of rap sheet or baggage. In fact, they love... they seek it out. They had Greg Hardy. They have Aldon Smith. The list goes on.

But yesterday, head coach Mike McCarthy admitted the team has had internal conversations about Thomas, but they like the roster where it is right now. "The conversations I've been involved with -- we had a chance to get a thorough personnel meeting just two days ago -- we're very confident in where we are as far as the 80-man roster.”

McCarthy also talked about how Thomas would fit with the team chemistry: "I think the most important question you need to ask at the end of the day is how the player fits into the locker room? To me, that's usually the huge determining factor if it happens or it doesn't happen. Just like anything in this business, there has to be a mutual understanding to bring those things together. At the end of the day, as the head coach, my focus is on our current locker room."  Translation: I like my locker room, why would I bring in a guy who just wrecked two other NFL locker rooms all by himself.

Then Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning: One note on FA Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas: While the Cowboys made some inquiries, they are not expected to be among the teams vying for Thomas’ services, sources say. So the Dallas/Thomas love affair ends here.

So when you start seeing that the Cowboys don’t want him that makes you think. It makes you think that Earl Thomas might be completely and totally toxic and it also makes you think the Cowboys might have changed and matured. Are they becoming a different organization? Are they actually able to show restraint, stick to a plan, and lay off a controversial, bordering on toxic, player whose best years might be behind him? If so, that’s impressive.

And then came Jerry Jones. He did an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas and of course he talked about Earl Thomas.

“I haven’t visited personally with Earl and don’t know that anybody has but that would probably be a next step.”

So that’s not exactly ruling it out, but doesn’t sound super likely based on that quote. Then Ed Werder tweeted Cowboys Owner/GM Jerry Jones says the first part of the Earl Thomas decision is to evaluate what they have on roster at that position. He said they’ve completed that phase and next would be to speak directly with Thomas and his agent. So Cowboys remain interested.

And then comes the best moment from Jerry. Werder tweeted: Jerry Jones says reports Cowboys have decided not to pursue Earl Thomas are erroneous, adding, “That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Hell yes. How ‘bout them Cowboys!

The Cowboys are back in this. Because of course they are. If you take that at face value, not only have the Cowboys not ruled it out, they are have a plan for bringing him in and they are working that plan. Phase one is complete and they are moving into phase two.

And he’s going to dunk on Rapoport’s head for reporting otherwise with a “that guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Look, I don’t know if the Cowboys are really interested in Earl Thomas or not, but I know Jerry Jones is interested in this being a story. Are you kidding me? He loves this stuff. This is where he lives.

He’s somehow managed to turn the Dak Prescott contract situation into the longest running soap opera in the league. There’s no way he was going to let the Earl Thomas to the Cowboys story die in a day or two. He wasn’t going to dismiss it and just move on to talking about the 80-man roster. Never.

This is Jerry’s lifeblood. You think he’s going to kill that story just a few hours after it really started heating up? No chance at all.  He’ll milk that for everything he’s worth. 

He loves the Cowboys being in the news and generating headlines more than he loves winning. Because in Jerry’s world, being talked about is winning. And nobody does that better than Jones. He can’t control what happens on the field, but he can definitely control the conversation and he loves the conversation being about him and his team.

Did you really think he wasn’t going to milk a number of days or weeks out of this story? His only regret about this being a story is that there aren’t preseason games where he could be interviewed about it. I’m sure he’s got a whole stack of one-liners about crippled crickets and circumcised mosquitos that he’s ready to break out for the Earl Thomas drama and he’s just dying to use them.

Again, I don’t know if Dallas is really interested in Thomas or not. Based on the early reports, it would seem that some people in the organization aren’t really fired up about it. Why would they be? The risk is so much greater than the reward at this point of his career. But it sure seems like Jerry is fired up about Earl Thomas coming to the Cowboys. Or at least about Earl Thomas coming to the Cowboys being a story. Those are your Dallas Cowboys. 8-8 on the field, undefeated in drama.